Starting a Fire in the Snow

You are freezing and the thought of a fire isn’t just a good idea, it is an absolute necessity. You need a fire to get warm, dry out wet clothing and purify water. A fire is one of the top priorities in any survival situation. When you think about starting a fire, you probably envision a nice dry spot on the ground, with dry tinder and dry wood. If you are in the wilderness and there is snow all around, those things are going to be very hard to come by. You need to know how to start a fire in the snow.

Clear an area for your fire with a branch. Ideally, you will want to place the fire under some cover if possible. A tree canopy is perfect if you don’t have a tarp or blanket. Pick dry tinder that hasn’t been lying on the ground. Look under trees, close to the trunk where pine needles and grass will have the best chance at being dry.

If you can, put your fire on top of some twigs to help keep it off the wet ground. The twigs will burn eventually, but any extra help you can give your fire is a good thing. If your tinder is nice and dry, you won’t have a problem getting the spark to land and start a flame. If the tinder is wet or damp, it is going to take a lot more effort.

Use small twigs or kindling to coax the new fire along if your wood is damp. Smaller pieces of wood are much easier to ignite. Keep building the fire until it is nice and hot before you add a medium-sized piece of wood. Watch the fire closely. You may need to add more kindling to help dry out the damp wood and allow the fire to take off.

It is possible to get a fire going, even if there is snow on the ground. If you can’t clear a place in the snow, you can build your fire on top of ice or lay down some larger logs to act as a platform. Do yourself a favor and carry dry tinder in your bug out bag to make life a little easier.

10 Skills to Learn in 2017 to Survive SHTF

farmer-1367104_1280Preparing to live after a major economic collapse or some horrible disaster isn’t just about putting food and water on the shelves. You need to be prepared to live without machinery and tools that are a daily part of life right now. You need to be ready to live like the pioneers did. You will be getting your hands dirty and you will be forced to do a lot of manual labor. Life will be a little more physical and hands on. It is important you learn some of the skills our grandparents and their parents used on a daily basis. The following skills will ensure you will thrive after SHTF.

      1. Learn how to work with leather. You will be making your own shoes and clothing once yours are ruined or fall apart.
      2. Learn how to cook from scratch. You won’t have any microwave meals or boxes that only require you to add water.
      3. Learn how to sew. Repairing the clothing you have and making other necessities will be the norm.tandoor-1532331_1280
      4. Learn how to raise animals. You will want to know how to take care of any livestock you will be relying on to feed your family. Know what it takes to keep them alive and healthy. You will also need to know about breeding animals to keep up a continual supply of food.
      5. Know the ins and outs of organic gardening. You won’t get to use pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides when they are all gone.
      6. Read up on herbal medicine. When there are no doctors or Western medicine you will have to treat yourself with homemade concoctions.
      7. Know the basics of construction. You will need to make repairs to your own house or build a new one from the ground up. You may need to build fences, barns and other outbuildings.
      8. You will need to know the basics of home food preservation. It is best if you learn some ways to preserve food that do not require electricity.
      9. Self-defense is going to be a big deal. Learn how to use a weapon and feel comfortable using it.
      10. Hunting is going to be one way you put food on the table. Learn how the basics now so you have a clue as to what you are doing when you have no other food options.

These skills will ensure you can live off the land without the benefits of technology and machinery. Life is going to be different, but it is manageable. Many of these skills have been lost over the years in favor of the easy way. Do what you can to learn them and teach them to your children. In a hands-on world, it will be knowledge that saves you, not a shelf full of food.